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Publisher Cancels Woody Allen Memoir After Backlash & Staff Protest

Publisher Cancels Woody Allen Memoir After Backlash & Staff Protest
March 6, 2020 - 22:52 / Lucas Anderson

Mere days after Hachette Book Group announced an upcoming Woody Allen memoir, it stepped back on its decision to publish the book. Hachette on Friday cancelled Allen's memoir after its employees held a walk-out in protest. 

Filmmaker Woody Allen had planned to release a memoir, Apropos of Nothing, in April with Grand Central Publishing. The news was announced on Monday, March 2.

Now, the publisher has cancelled the memoir just four days later. It was widely criticized as Allen's name is associated with allegations of molesting his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow. The publisher, which is a part of Hachette Book Group, had also worked with Ronan Farrow, the biological son of Woody Allen, whose investigation led to the prosecution of Harvey Weinstein.

Ronan Farrow attends HISTORYTalks Leadership & Legacy at Carnegie Hall on Feb. 29, 2020.

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Woody Allen's memoir publisher drew immediate criticism

The most vocal critics of Hachette were Dylan Farrow, Allen's accuser, and Ronan Farrow. Both expressed disbelief and outrage that the publisher would give voice to Allen. Ronan Farrow's prior relationship with Hachette also complicated its decision to publish the memoir. He had earlier published a book with Hachette about his Weinstein investigation.

On Thursday, 75 employees of Hachette Book Group staged a walk-out to protest the publication of Allen's memoir. They stood in solidarity with the Farrows and survivors of sexual abuse. 

Ronan Farrow tweets about Hachette's Woody Allen memoir

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Hachette cancels Woody Allen's memoir after backlash

On Friday, Hachette announced the cancellation of Apropos of Nothing. The publisher released this statement:

"The decision to cancel Mr. Allen’s book was a difficult one. At HBG we take our relationships with authors very seriously, and do not cancel books lightly. We have published and will continue to publish many challenging books," the statement read.

"... Over the past few days, HBG leadership had extensive conversations with our staff and others. After listening, we came to the conclusion that moving forward with publication would not be feasible for HBG."

At this time, it seems unlikely that another publisher would pick up Allen's memoir.